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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center,, for Thursday October 13th, 2011

Hamas and Fatah met on Wednesday night in Cairo to help reconcile the two parties, and a string of attacks and arrests occur across the occupied West Bank, these stories and more coming up; so stay tuned.

An Israeli court has ruled that there is little or no evidence to support the conviction of a man accused of setting fire to a mosque in the Upper-Galilee village of Tuba Zingerah.

The Mosque was vandalised Monday morning in an attack that destroyed numerous holy books, and did extensive damage to the interior.

Judge Nitza Maimon-Shashua, who issued the ruling, has extended the suspects remand until Sunday, allowing the police further opportunity to gather more evidence.

She has declared that if no new evidence is discovered, she would have no choice but to order the police to release the suspect without charge.

The U.S. State Department has chided the Israeli Government over its announcement on Tuesday, concerning the creation of a task force to focus on legalising settlement outposts within the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem.

The State Department spokesperson criticised Israel, stating unequivocally that “The United States has a clear policy: we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity.”

The use of the word continued, implies the United States’ acceptance of Israeli settlements already built, despite them being illegal under international law.

In local news, in Hebron, extremist settlers attacked school students who are protesting the use of the electronic gate, and physical searches near the entrance of the school. For three days now, faculty and students alike have been protesting the security measures put in place by the Israeli military.

On Thursday however, during their protest, as teachers held classes outside the school on an Israeli road block, settlers began to pelt them with stones and bottles.

In other attacks around the West Bank, three residents from the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, were arrested early Thursday morning raid, while three men in their twenties were taken in a similar military incursion in Qabatia village, in the northern West Bank town of Jenin.

During the early morning raid in Beit Ummar, eyewitnesses reported seeing Palestinian youth, Ameer Sabarneh, being shot in the shoulder by an Israeli soldier, before being beaten and taken away in the back of an Israeli Army vehicle.

Clashes broke out across the village of Beit Ummar, after the announcement of a strike in solidarity with the striking detainees. Several residents suffered from tear gas inhalation after the gas was used to disperse the crowds.

Further to the strikes, Hamas has announced that as part of the concessions regarding the release of Gilad Shalit, and over 1000 Palestinian prisoners, Israel has agreed to the demands set forth by the striking detainees.
It has yet to be announced when the demands will be realised.

Officials of the Hamas and Fatah movements held a night-time meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, and agreed to meet again soon. The purpose of the meeting was to reinforce the reconciliation agreement between to two movements, to ensure it is fully implemented.

Head of the Fatah delegation, Azzam Al-Ahmad, expressed satisfaction regarding the outcome of the meeting, and the way the talks are heading.

Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal and his deputy, Mousa Abu Marzouq, attended the meeting, along with a number of other senior Egyptian officials.

Al-Ahmad stated that Mashaal phoned Abbas and informed him that Hamas supports the Palestinian statehood bid that was submitted to the UN last month.

That was just some of the news from Palestine Today, for more updates; please visit our website at Thank you for joining us from occupied Bethlehem. This report has been brought to you by Hussam Qassis and me, William Gibson.